Human Powered Hovercraft :: Steam Boat Willy

human powered hovercraft


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HMS Daedalus 2006

At 2.30pm on Saturday 22nd October 2006, Steam Boat Willy, human powered hovercraft was poised on the slipway of HMS Daedalus. The beach was crowded with visitors to the Hovercraft Museum`s Open Day. There was a strong wind and a choppy sea. There were many yachts, sailboards, and one or two kiteboards visible in this part of the Solent. All taking advantage of a pleasant but windy autumn afternoon.


Simon propelling SBW at sea for the first time. Filmed by our member Martin Pfeiffer.

The Isle of Wight, birthplace of Hovercraft, three miles across the Solent was very clearly visible. The smaller of the various engined hovercraft that were skittling about as part of the Museum`s display were noticeably rocking with the waves. Warwick Jacobs and others at the Museum had been most helpful and granted us all the facilities we needed, including an escort rescue hovercraft.


Simon propelling SBW at sea for the second time. Filmed by our member Martin Pfeiffer.


Martin Pfeiffer conducts ballast tests

We conducted a series of trials with differing amounts of ballast carried on the bow of the hovercraft. This is because we have suspected that the ground clearance at the stern sometimes becomes so small that the bag drags on the ground. The issue is complicated by the fact that thrust from the propeller has the effect of tipping the craft nose down.


Yehui hovering. Filmed by our member Martin Pfeiffer.


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